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Regional Vic Rental Vacancy Rate Remains Stable

By Phillip Lee

The vacancy rate in Regional Victoria remained stable at 2.1 per cent in March 2015 and is currently 50 basis points lower than its value a year ago. The vacancy rate in the Geelong region (at 3.1 per cent in March 2015) has been tightening for the past six months and is at its lowest level since April 2013.

Conversely, vacant space in the rental market in Bendigo and Ballarat increased to 2.8 per cent over the month.  The median house rent in Ballarat fell from $293 per week in February to $270 per week in March whilst the median unit rental increased from $210 per week in February to $240 per week in March.

The vacancy rate in Metropolitan Melbourne remained stable at 3.0 per cent over the month of March 2015, having tightened over the two months prior to this. Median rents for houses in Melbourne during the same period remained at $400 for the third consecutive month.

Median rents for units rose to $400 from $395 over the month and is now on par with median rents for houses in Melbourne. Leases for two and three bedroom units have followed similar pricing to two and four bedroom houses, causing a convergence in overall median rents for houses and units in Metropolitan Melbourne.

The inner suburbs have experienced significant tightening in the rental market over the past four months, bringing the vacancy rate in March 2015 to 2.7 per cent from 2.9 per cent in the previous month. Subsequently, the median rent for houses in this area has been declining steadily since the start of the year to $550 in March 2015.

Median rents for units on the other hand rose slightly by 0.4 per cent over the month. Vacancy rates in the inner (0-4km) region fell noticeably to 3.3 per cent in March 2015 from 3.9 per cent in February 2015. On the other hand, vacancy rates for the rental market in the inner (4-10km) region stabilised at 2.7 per cent. The vacancy rate in the middle suburbs rose to 3.6 per cent over the month of March 2015, from 3.5 per cent in the previous month. During the same period, median rents for houses remained stable at $400, while median unit rents fell by 1.4 per cent to $365.

Vacant space in the outer region remained flat at 2.2 per cent in March 2015, with median rents for houses also following the same trend to be at $360 over the month. Median rents for units on the other hand increased by 1.4 per cent to $320 per week, mostly due to a 2.6 per cent increase in the median rent for 3 bedroom units.

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